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Hello!

I am a ceramicist working in Canada and selling to retailers in the US. I have found that when shipping large quantities of work (around 20 objects) to the US, my customers get charged with an FDA fee- this fee was applied only to the objects that fall under the food-use category (to protect against import of food-use pottery that contains cadmium or lead). Any thoughts on how to work around this fee? 

Thanks in advance.

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Thanks for the advice. I had been shipping larger quantities with UPS, but am beginning to wonder if it's better to just stick with Canada Post- I get a little bit more nervous about breakages with them, but they only have an $8 brokerage fee compared to over $50 with UPS (and I imagine other couriers are similar). 

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I have sent a bit of Pottery north to Canada over the years and the paperwork and tax deal was a hassel.

I also turned down a few show requests to show at some art shows in BC as i think the hassel of import /export would not be worth it.

I can see my van with 80 banana boxs of pottery at the border with the guard asking to unpack it all-that's a lost day right there.

I feel your pain Beardbang.

Mark

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This is my personal preference, but I would stick with a single carrier. If you go Canada Post, it changes hands to the USPS at the border. If anything gets lost or broken, each carrier will blame it on the other. There will be two tracking numbers instead of one to worry about, and don't get me started on tax codes. They're different from state to state, and with Canada post you have to supply your own.

Pay the few extra bucks and go with a carrier who deals with the brokerage for you. The headaches are far fewer. The last time I shipped with fedex it wasn't that bad, but call them and compare prices. It costs nothing to ask.

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Guest JBaymore

I use FedEx almost exclusively fort the pottery business.

 

What Harmonized Tariff Code are you using for the work?

 

best,

 

.....................john

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Thanks everyone for your responses! 

The tariff code that I used is 6914.10, which seemed to be the most appropriate judging by the Canada Post HS Code finder on their website. This was the code they gave me for sending ceramics to the US in general, so I don't really understand what happens in regards to the specific states...

I am beginning to understand what brokerage is about a bit more now; thank you, Diesel Clay. I'll check out FedEx... has anyone tried out using courier companies with an outside broker? I've heard that can save money but I also makes things a little more complicated I imagine.

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Guest JBaymore

 

The tariff code that I used is 6914.10,........

 

Is this work you are selling hand-made (handbuilt via slab/coil/pinch etc., or thrown on a potters wheel), made by a single producer or VERY small master/apprentice situation, and although a functional item, is it "highly distinctive" (exhibits a very clear artistic style and aesthetic approach to form and surface)?

 

Or is the work you are selling what might be better described as "heavy production", with mainly function driving form and surface, produced maybe in a setting with multiple employees, and maybe using hydraulic pressing, jiggering and jollying, slip casting, and other such techniques to increase the production of multiples of the objects?

 

Depending on those above answers........ you might be better off with using a different HTC. 

 

For my work (like in first example above) I use "Works or Art - other"  9701.90.00.00.  Never been questioned yet shipping out of the USA and into Japan, People's Republic of China, and South Korea.  Duty free.

 

The key here is that the regs specifically state " .....does not apply to  ........... works of conventional craftsmanship or a commercial character, even if these articles are designed or created by artists." 

 

best,

 

.....................john

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Oh, interesting! I fit much more into the first category. I guess I had been thinking it was most important to get the materials used most accurate, but what you're saying makes a lot of sense. I will look into other code options a little bit. Thanks so much, John!

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